Joe's fight! - Stay Fly Muay Thai
This past weekend, Joe "Jose Pistola" Logan fought for the 125 lbs title belt at the Warrior's Cup in Rahway, NJ. In short, Joe won a unanimous but close decision against a talented tough fighter, Jared Tipton.
But, that brief synopsis does absolutely no justice to the performance that Joe executed.
Let me start by telling you all how I feel about the fight, before I go into the play by play of how it all went down. So, I'll let you all know that I am incredibly proud of Joe and his performance was one that I'm jealous of. Fights like that are why I love Muay Thai. It was a brutal, hard fought contest that forced Joe to dig deep and push forward. It's fights like those where you learn most about yourself. Many fighters will never have a fight that tests them to that level and many will not know what it's like to be in a barnburner like that. After all my fights, I feel there have been only a few, maybe, that have done that for me. I'm an incredibly proud coach.
So, here's how it all went down…
It started rough for Joe. His game plan was to get on Jared's leg early and often, and we knew he had to set it up with his punches. Joe routinely makes much bigger training partners' legs sore, with shinguards and going light in sparring. His leg kicks are just painful. So, that was the plan. But, every time Joe threw one, Jared would eat it, pick it up, and sweep Joe. I knew the kicks were still landing and causing damage, but I was worried that Joe would be discouraged to throw them because he kept getting swept. Then, Jared put a good hand combination together and followed with a knee right to Joe's face. His head snapped back, and though he didn't look dazed, I could tell something was wrong…
His nose was completely twisted, pushed under his right eye and flat against his face. From all the way across the ring, I could see how bad it was. The round ended and he came to the corner. When he sat on the stool, I wasn't sure I should let him continue the fight. As George walked up the steps, I told him "I don't know, man". Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the doctor hustling over to take a look at Joe's nose. So I knew we only had a few seconds to try to fix it. I told Joe to take a deep breath, then breathe out big. I pushed my thumb into his cheek, and slowly pushed his nose back towards the middle of his face. About halfway there, I felt a horrible 'click' noise and it popped the rest of the way back. I ran my thumb up and down along the side of his nose, then took the end-swell and ran it along the side of his nose. The doctor was there now, asking to see Joe's nose. I told him to give me just a second. He demanded to see his nose, because he knew how terribly broken it looked. I took my hands away. To my surprise, everything seemed straight and fixed. There was a bit of blood, until the doc squeezed Joe's nose, then there was a bunch. I smeared some of it across Joe's face to get it away from his airway as he told the doc "I'm fine". With no towel, I took my referee shirt, wiped up his face, and sent him back in with the advice to stay on his leg and not get hit in the nose.
Round two was a bit, but not much better for Joe. Jared thought that he was certain to finish Joe after smashing his nose in the first. But Joe continued to land those kicks, even whenI told him getting swept. He was diligent in the game plan. We knew it would work. When he came back to the round, I told Joe, "ok, the worst is over, he was expecting you to quit. Now we have 3 rounds to win a title. Ready to be a champion?" He responded with a nod and a "yes sir" and went back out to do the deed.
The third round is when the fight took a turn. Joe began to get his leg back when caught and began teeping Jared to the canvas when he held his leg. This is big points for Joe. Joe continued to work Jared's leg. After a close third round, I saw Joe had done enough to win the round, and knew that he could continue to pull further ahead.
The fourth and fifth round continued to go in Joe's favor as the leg kicks began to cumulate damage. He put strong punches in front of his kicks to set them up and looked like an entirely different fighter than the first round.
After 5 rounds, Joe had become the Warrior's Cup champion and I couldn't be more proud as a coach. This fight is the stuff legends are made of. I'm so glad to have been a part of it.
Next month, Joe will take a trip to Mexico for a few weeks followed by a long stay in Thailand. He will be training out of Sitmonchai Gym near Bangkok and will look to fight many times during his stay. We will miss him, and be eager to see his improvement when he returns from living a fighter's life in the mecca of Muay Thai.